I Met Two Writers, They Changed My Life

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I know I said that somebody has to pay me so I can write, but then again, how can I write if I don’t get acquainted with the world of writing first? Meaning, I need to meet writers. And that’s what I did. I started spending a lot of time in my local library and last time I was there I just glimpsed at a book that one girl was reading. She actually caught my attention because she was trying to laugh but also hide so nobody would notice. The book was The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. One of my favorites. While I was approaching to take a glimpse, she turned and noticed me. At that moment I had to say hi. But the moment I said hi,   she started laughing even more. We both left the room to go outside and had a burst of proper laughter. It was love at first sight. Another fun fact, her name is also Sarah, just like me.

Sarah is a 24-year-old with nice blond hair, soft skin, wears glasses, and her clothes are made out of comfortable materials. She told me that she doesn’t spend a lot of time in the library because she prefers to read at home. That’s why I probably haven’t noticed her before. She came to the library just to find a passage from the book she really likes. We decided to grab a coffee and get to know each other better. Sarah is an inspiring writer just like me. But contrary to me, she comes from a writer’s family. Her father is a writer and a university professor of comparative literature. After we initially got to know each other, we decided that we should spend more time together, and we became really close really fast. After I explained to her that I want to get familiarized with writers, she invited me to her house to meet her parents.

She lives in an apartment which is owned by the university. The apartment was wide with several rooms and a beautiful working room full of books. Her father was sitting on a yellow chair in the brightest corner of the room. The apartment smelled like fresh-baked breath. Her mother was baking puff french pastry. Her father invited us to his working room, which didn’t have the smell of pastry because he had installed CleanBreathing air purifiers that sucked the scent right out of the room.

After we set down, he started lecturing us on the kind of discipline and dedication we need in order to become good writers. Sarah was a bit bored by his lecture, she obviously hears this every day, but for me, that was something I took to heart. After that meeting, I changed my daily regime. With the regime, my focus changed and now I spend less time worrying about how to become a writer and more time writing. 

How A Change In My Interest Rate Impact My Home Loan

The cash rate in Australia is the market interest rate on the overnight loans between different financial institutions. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) monitors and alters this rate. They will either increase or decrease the cash rate by a measure of ‘basis points’ to manage inflation and economy.

Impact On Mortgages

The rate change is important for its effect on mortgages. The RBA’s cash rate has a strong link to the interest rates charged by the financial institutions on loans to its customers. Variable rate loans are particularly affected by this rate change. If the cash rate rises the interest rate charged by the banks will move in same direction and the same will happen in case of a rate cut. When you are taking a loan, it’s important to research different home loans and interest rates on Home Loan Comparison.

Are the banks in Australia obligated to change their interest rate in tandem with the changes the RBA makes? Not necessarily, but it is in their interest to follow the RBA cash rate change. If a bank does not pass on a rate cut to its variable rate loan customers, they are likely to lose the customers as also dent their image.

How Are Home Loan Borrowers Affected By A Rate Change? 

If you have a home loan with a variable interest rate, you are tracking the changes in interest rate charged to you as your monthly payment changes. The rate change is not linear meaning it can go up or down. That will either increase or reduce your monthly payments. In case of a rate cut you may feel happy that you will be saving on your monthly payments. But don’t forget that your superannuation and savings account interest rates may see a reduction too; so it works both ways.

Points to Consider

Global financial crisis has increased the cost of borrowing for banks. They absorb the rise in interest rates up to a point where their profitability is not adversely impacted. Similarly, they may not hasten to pass on the rate cut to customers. So they may at times ignore the RBA rate changes.  

Rate changes is a complex issue. Instead of relying rely on the rate change impact on your home loan, it will benefit you to be regular in your monthly payments and watchful by shopping around for a better interest rate on Home Loan Comparison. Alternatively, consider switching to a fixed rate loan to stabilise your monthly payments for rest of the life of your home loan.

My Rx for a Better Day

Of course, we all have a secret side that we would only expose to a stranger. It is too personal for family and friends. This blog is very cathartic no matter what is happening. It can be something really mundane. For example, I can have a bad day over something trivial and it really gets to me. Doesn’t that happen to you? You want to bury your head in the sand, cry in your pillow, or scream in the shower. We all have our ways of coping. I have a self-care regime that helps me get over the daily ups and downs, and even the traumas, of life. Most of the time things are good, but then…something hits the fan.

The first thing I recommend is to get some music fast and find the earbuds. I like AX7. After an hour or more, I jump in a hot shower to rinse off the residue of the day. Thank goodness I have a new tankless water heater that supplies what I need for as long as I want. Hot showers are irresistible and you never want to get out. So there is my Rx for a better day: your favorite tunes and a stimulating shower. Now add something good to eat. Some go for a nice glass of wine accompanied by a gourmet plate of cheese and crackers. Others wolf down the sweets when they are really taxed. I like to cook as it is relaxing and distracting. I am too busy looking for the right seasonings to mull over the bad stuff of the day. When people irritate me, I don’t like to remember it when I get home. Try my “recipe” for a true escape and find yourself in a better mood in no time flat.

Red Dwarf

Do you watch Red Dwarf? If not, you really should. It’s hilarious. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be the last person in existence or be trapped alone in space, you will like this show. They don’t really make an attempt to be accurate as far as I can tell, but the characters are more realistic than you usually see those shows. Just about everyone on the average spaceship is smart and completely capable. They’re also pretty much always stoic and brave. That’s not reality. And that’s not Red Dwarf, either. These characters are cowards for the most part, prone to sarcasm, and don’t always get along.

I feel like that is how I’d behave if I were trapped in space with a cat-humanoid, a hologram of a dead person, and a bunch of GELFs, androids, and Simulants for company. Just about anybody would lose their mind a little given the circumstances.

My favorite character is Lister (with Cat a close second, because I like cats and the idea of a cat-human is great). I identify with him, and Craig Charles is a great actor who plays the part really well. For example, when you find out that he used to work at a supermarket but left because it started to feel like a career – I get that. I hate thinking about the future when the present is so hard to deal with. I also pretty much would have acted the same way with Kochanski when she was alive, I do the same things with my crushes. Luckily, I’ve had better chances to get more than 173 words in with them. Plus I wouldn’t mind buying a farm on Fiji and breeding horses while hanging out with my cat. Or selling hot dogs or doughnuts. As long as I was in Fiji, I think I’d be fine.

My favorite episode is “Timeslides.” It is a bit confusing, since it is one of those back-in-time alternate reality episodes, but this one lets him go back to his old self and prevent him from going into space in the first place. He lives a pretty great life, but you realize that if Lister wasn’t around, Kryten does not get rescued and that Cat never exists. Good old stupid Rimmer ruins everything and changes the timelines so that everything goes back to the way it was, and that’s that. It’s the kind of thing that would probably happen to me. I’d have a much better life if I could go back in time and tell myself not to make some of the decisions I’ve made.

Sure with a show that spans as long as Red Drawf has, there were bound to be some plot points ignored or reconfigured. It happens. Don’t overthink it, and more importantly, don’t be a smeghead. Go watch Red Dwarf. Just watch out for those despair squids.

Best Band Ever: Avenged Sevenfold

Sometimes you find music that speaks to you. You no longer feel invisible or alone. For me, that music comes from a few places. But none more than A7X.

Things that have happened to me have changed me. They have not all been great things but on my better days, I know that they have made me who I am and that I can learn from – and survive – almost anything. A7X has been through some stuff too, and they’ve come out the other side changed and stronger as well. They started as a mostly metalcore band. Their first three albums, Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, Waking the Fallen, and City of Evil are all pretty metal. However, they are so talented and so confident in their skills that they are able to branch out. They have since shown off a cool mix of other influences – gothic rock, country music, and hip hop, for example. If you’ve never listened to them before and really want an idea of how awesome they are, I recommend starting with Nightmare (you can work your way backwards and forwards from there).

Nightmare is both hard to listen to and great at the same time. It is the first album they recorded without The Rev playing drums on every song. If you were a fan of the band back then, you know how much it hurt to lose such a talent and huge part of the band. The last song he wrote, Fiction, is one of my favorites. The whole thing is clearly a tribute to a dear friend. It amazes me that they were strong enough to put out such quality work when they were so clearly hurting, and it comes out through the entire record. While other band members came and left (Matt Wendt and Dameon Ash, for example, or the addition of Synyster Gates), it was nothing like what happened when The Rev died. While I like it, I do have to say that I avoid it when I am really sad because sometimes it makes it feel worse.

The Stage, which came out in 2016, goes more metal and is the concept album they’ve wanted to do for years. It’s all about artificial intelligence, nuclear war, the end of society and space. It is fantastic. I mean, that astrophysicist, Neal DeGrasse Tyson even gets an appearance. On a metal album! How cool is that?!? I love the song, ”The Stage”.  It reminds me that I am not the only one who feels the way I do. I especially like when he says the lines about the walking apes keeping score through nuclear war. I wish we didn’t have weapons like that didn’t exist either. What’s the point of being able to wipe somebody off the earth when you’re destroying the place we all live at the same time? I don’t get it.

All this talking about A7X has made me want to go watch a few videos. I’ll write more later.

Thoughts on the Tomb Raider Reboot

Has everyone run out of original ideas? Is this what we’ve come to? No offense to the actors and crew of the reboot for Tomb Raider, but come on. Is there a point where people come up with something else or the cow runs out of milk?

First it was a great video game franchise. Guys liked it because it was awesome and she was hot. Girls liked it because you could actually play as a female in a video game. Then Angelina Jolie appeared on movie screens everywhere as Lara Croft in the flesh. She was Lara Croft. She was smart and fierce and sexy, and she went from being labeled a moody, difficult actress to a blockbuster lead who had serious action hero skills.

Watching those Tomb Raider movies now is sort of like looking at pictures of yourself in middle school. A little embarrassing that people went so crazy over them. What were we all thinking? You realize just how far CGI and green screens have come. Whereas before you were thinking wow, how did they do that? Now you’re thinking, I could probably create these effects on my phone, nevermind needing an actual hardcore computer with expensive graphics processors and fancy programs. Come on. That fight with the statues? Ugh.

So I guess that’s why somebody out there decided they needed to make another film, based on two dated films and an animated series that were based on a successful video game franchise (after a hiatus, another will be released toward the end of 2018). Because the technology is better now and they could do it right, I guess. I mean, they rebooted the video game series in 2008, so why not the films too?

Personally, I think they should leave well enough alone. There are the video games, the spin-off games, the novels and comics, and the two original movies. What other stories were there left to tell that you couldn’t create a brand new character for? Why keep trading on the Lara Croft identity and goodwill created by the Tomb Raider name?

I saw the reboot when I had nothing better to do. I thought Alicia Vikander did a good job, but would have been more believable if she had been anyone other than Lara Croft. It was a little farfetched (but so were the others) and there was a lot of nonsense in it (see above). But whatever, it’s an action movie. You don’t watch those for the plot. You watch them for the ass kicking and effects. It had that. It was fine that way, and used the film and technology advances since the original films to its advantage. Looking at it objectively, it set the origin story up a little better and made more sense, in a way. But still, I was bored. I don’t remember being bored with the original series. I don’t know if it was the actors or the plot or what. It was just…boring.

If they had called it something else and given the main character a different name, I think it would have been better received and more people would have liked it – or at least been interested to see it.

What I Do When I am Depressed

I hate that I get depressed. I hate feeling so worthless, unloved, and incapable of doing anything. I see a therapist now and while I can’t stop myself from getting depressed, I have tools now that help manage things.

First, I remind myself that it isn’t real. Depression lies. I am not the things that the voice inside my head tells me. That doesn’t always work, so then I focus on basic self-care skills. When I say basic, I mean basic. Like I make sure I am eating something healthy, even if it is just a sandwich and a piece of fruit. I force myself to get in the shower and wash my hair. I brush my teeth. I put on clean clothes. Even if that is all I have the energy to do. And if I don’t have the energy to do that stuff, then I nap. I will take small naps to be sure that I can try to sleep at night. If I am having trouble sleeping, I take some melatonin at night. That usually helps me stay on a day/night wake cycle and prevents insomnia. Proving that I can take care of myself does make me feel a little better.

Once I have established that I can take care of myself, I’ll try to do something that has made me happy in the past. This might be as simple as looking through pictures on my computer or watching a funny movie. It does not have to take a lot of energy to do, which at that stage is usually a good thing.

If I can manage it, the next thing I try is some exercise. If it is nice out, maybe I will go for a walk. If it is not, I might try some yoga. Sometimes all I can deal with is a change of scenery and some good music in my headphones. But getting out of my apartment can sometimes get me out of my own head a little, and that can help. Again, it isn’t a cure, but it can lift my spirits.

Then I will usually reach out to a trusted friend. Not everyone is great with dealing with me when I am like this, so I try not to take advantage of the few that know to say, “Hey, I’ll come over with some ice cream and we’ll watch Red Dwarf,” without expecting too much from me in return. Reaching out can be the hardest part. If I don’t have the courage to reach out to a friend or family member, I will contact my therapist. I know she’ll listen even if it is just because I pay her. And she can help me work through what I am feeling.

When I don’t feel like I can do any of these things, I will stay in my bed and listen to music. I repeat to myself that eventually, I will start to feel better. And when I am ready, I start with my checklist again.

So that’s what I do when I am depressed. It doesn’t always work, but I like having a list of things to try. What about you? What do you do?

For help with depression in Ontario, reach out to the experts at CCBT.ca

Making Your Travel Convenient with Halifax Airport Taxi Service

Surrounded by splendid landscapes and the vast Atlantic Ocean, Halifax attracts travellers from all over the globe. The fusion of historic and modern architecture of the province makes it a coveted Canadian destination. Moreover, the city has also become a commercial hub, thus bringing a number of business travellers every year.

Now, as a traveller, you may be wondering how to commute to your hotel as soon as you land in Halifax. Don’t worry. You can go for Halifax Airport Taxi service. We will drop you at your destination without any hassle. You can also opt for a limousine, and travel in style.

How does Halifax Airport Taxi service work?

The primary aim of Halifax Airport Taxi service is to make the procedure convenient for travellers. You can call a taxi either by placing a call or visiting our website. If you are someone who likes to keep everything planned, our airport taxi service would be best for you.

You simply have to provide your name, phone number, email address, pick-up and drop address, pick-up date, the number of passengers and bags, and your flight number for booking a taxi. You have the option to book a taxi well in advance as well. If you are an on-the-go traveller, you can book a taxi via your smartphone, anytime. We are available 24/7.

How reliable is  Halifax Airport Taxi service

If a convenient transportation option is what you are looking for, then Halifax Airport Taxi service would be ideal for you. After you place a request for a cab, the information is communicated to drivers. You can be sure to see your taxi waiting for you at the airport as soon as you walk out of the airport.

The best part about using Halifax Airport Taxi service is that we are very professional. We ensure that travellers get a hassle-free experience while commuting to/from the airport. We hire only professional drivers who know the routes of the city very well. So, you don’t have worry about getting lost in an unknown city.

Moreover, our drivers are nationally certified, well-behaved, and educated, thus ensuring your safety and comfort. They are friendly, and they will help you in any way they can.

Halifax Airport Taxi service can make your commute unbelievably reasonable, time-saving, and convenient. You are sure to have a comfortable and hassle-free trip as you traverse across Nova Scotia.

Can synthetic ice be skated on both sides?

Can synthetic ice be skated on both sides? The short answer is yes. I have only come across one product that couldn’t be skated on both sides and that was because it’s a molded thermoplastic material that has only one smooth side surface (that one is a bit of a “lone wolf”).

The better question and one that I discuss with potential clients is why would you ever want to turn it over? Let’s consider this question.

Most products get more efficient (less resistance) the more they are skated on. That sweat equity carves up that nice shiny surface with the sharp skate blades over and over. The more it gets carved up the better the glide because the skate blade has less contact with the smooth new surface. This is where the discussion gets tricky. There is no question about it, some materials wear out faster than others. If you are doing your research and a supplier talks about needing to turn the product over in a few years’ times then you have to be wary of that. We simply tell people straight out – yes you could turn it over (and start over) but you will never need to. Our best materials simply will never wear out. That starts a really good conversation then about different materials used in making synthetic ice.

I have definitely come across materials that needed to be turned over after a few years. That’s pretty surprising considering what most material costs. The owner was certainly not happy about that – but you get what you pay for and he was never informed or knew enough at the time to ask the right questions.

In my view knowing what I know, the only time I would ever recommend for someone to turn one of our panels over would simply be to make the surface look nice and shiny new again and it became so dirty that cleaning became impossible.

It’s always best to ask a potential supplier questions about the material and ask them if they will warranty it for a lifetime! We will if we know how it’s going to be used and we will put that in writing for you.

Getting The Best Price For Your Home

Gone are the days when a great open house at a well-staged home combined with a good pitch were enough to sell a home. You need to take a tactical approach to selling your home so that you get the very best rate possible for it from someone who is set to buy a house in Halifax. Here are some useful tips on what you need to do to get to that number your heart is set on.

Show off your best side

Every home has its best side. Rhonda Kennedy gets that, which is why she has used high quality photography to great effect.

Get social!

Today, to compete with the best, it is important that your property is getting optimal exposure on social media and online channels too. Its as much about the marketing of your property and connecting with buyers as it was before, it is just that much of the process has moved online. If that seems like a tough ask, you can relax, because that’s something a quality realtor will take care of for you as part of his service.

Do your homework

Find out what the going rate is for other homes of similar vintage and design in your area. Work in consultation with your Halifax realtor to work out the right price for your piece of real estate.

Make a great impression

First impressions count. Since photographs of your home will be the first step towards getting your Halifax real estate listed, be sure you get it right. Clean up, de-clutter and move out any odds and ends before you get your home shot.

Get found.

All the work on staging your home perfectly will come to naught if no one can find you. Be sure that you property gets onto MLS listings for Halifax. Your realtor can help by including your property in the regular newsletter or emails on hot new properties they send to their buyer base. Quality realtors take it a notch up by listing all properties on a state-of-the-art platform with an Online Home Finder tool. Buyers simply search and sort property listings as per their preferences, making it increase the likelihood that someone who wants to buy a house in Halifax matching the description of yours, will actually find it. And when a buyer finds a home that meets all their requirements it is far more likely that they will be willing to pay more for it and meet your price.

Leave it to the pros

Clinching the deal for you takes the skill of a good realtor. Once you have helped work out the basics including a price that you are happy with, leave the rest to Rhonda Kennedy. Her decades of experience, close association with the neighbourhoods of Greater Halifax and expertise in real estate make her the perfect person for the job.